Lately, I have been thinking a lot about why being grateful seems so hard. It may be because we allow negative emotions like jealousy or envy to pervade our thoughts when we see others have things that we secretly wish for ourselves. Or it simply may be that we think we are unworthy to receive wonderful things in our lives. It may be as simple as we do not look for them. But we need to. Otherwise, we surrender ourselves and our happiness to the negative voices in our head which crowd out any expressions of gratitude.
That’s why I think we need to practice simple gratitude every day by expressing, loudly if need be, what we are thankful for. In our prayers, we need to take time to thank God for what we do have instead of detailing the endless lists of things we need fixed. We need to sincerely look for the positive in every situation. When we see others receiving things in their lives which we sincerely want for ourselves, we need to let go of the envy, jealousy and unworthiness we feel and be happy for them. When we find ourselves drifting into negative thoughts, we have to affirmatively draw on those things we are grateful for. We need to retrain ourselves to operate from a default position of gratitude.
By no means is this easy. Over the years, we have allowed ourselves to engage in destructive self talk. We have found it easier to spot the negative things in our life instead of acknowledging the gifts God’s wondrous generosity has provided. We have wallowed in self doubt and destructive emotions for far too long. But, when we do actively practice simple gratitude, amazing things happen. Gratitude chases away unhappiness. It opens ourselves up to better relationships, love, and God’s abundance. It frees us from the prison of our thoughts and allows us to see the possibilities God places before us. It allows us to become closer to the Divine. All this because we practice simple gratitude.